The Canaan Creed

Check out this novel, by L.P. Hoffman, that weaves together an intricate tale about environmentalism gone awry.

"If God be for us who can be against us?" The Apostle Paul wrote those words in his letter to the church at Rome (Romans 8:31); it's not hard to envision them as the tacit heart of The Canaan Creed, a novel by L.P. Hoffman that weaves together an intricate tale about environmentalism gone awry.

A native of Wyoming, L.P. Hoffman has helped organize a grassroots environmental group near Yellowstone National Park. Her husband served as deputy assistant secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, and she has witnessed radical environmentalism firsthand. It is her hope this novel will spark everyone who reads it to embrace cooperative conservation.

Her riveting tale follows the Fischers, a Wyoming family working as outfitters, café owners and lumberjacks; Pastor Charlie Waits, an Indian who's found the Lord after a life of wastefulness; Randolph Harrington, a media mogul who bankrolls environmental projects across the globe; Gabor Gagne, a dashing founder of the Endangered Earth Alliance, who would have us believe God is Mother Earth, to be protected from the scourge of humankind; and Anna O'Neil, a wildlife biologist at the forefront of the reintroduction of the gray wolf in the Rocky Mountain West.

While in Switzerland, Anna is fêted by power brokers among the environmental movement; her career, it seems, is taking off. Then her father is murdered on Canaan Island, the family's summer home off the coast of Maine. What was the subject of Malcolm O'Neil's last syndicated column, and did it have anything to do with his murder? And why has a college friend of Malcolm's crept into Anna's life?

Anna returns to Wyoming, thinking maybe work will do her good. But while she's been away strange things have been occurring. Reuben Fischer and his father-in-law witnessed a bizarre event deep in the wilderness while setting up a fishing camp; Reuben's parents struggle to understand why someone would try to burn down their café and taint the gas supply at their filling station; and Reuben's brother, Dillon, is now eking out a living from dwindling timber contracts. Meanwhile, Randolph Harrington has come to town; he's pulled a shady land swap and built a 10,000-square-foot "cabin" smack dab in the middle of an elk migration route. Soon, the media and movie stars will christen a new wilderness area at his behest.

Anna begins to wonder. What she finds will shock you, as it is all too real.

By L.P. Hoffman ($14.95, 329 pages, soft cover, Hope Springs Media; 866-964-2031; www.thecanaancreed.com)


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